Bellator Announces 8 Man Heavyweight Grand Prix Featuring Fedor Emelianenko And Rampage Jackson

Bellator president Scott Coker is up to his old tricks again, putting together a Heavyweight Grand Prix that will feature some of the biggest stars on his roster. Former PRIDE champion and GOAT contender Fedor Emelianenko leads the pack, followed by Frank Mir, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Roy Nelson, Matt Mitrione, Ryan Bader, Muhammad Lawal, and Chael Sonnen.

The three round tournament will kick off on January 20th’s Bellator card, which is being headlined by a welterweight title fight between champ Douglas Lima and challenger Rory MacDonald. Barring injuries or delays, the tournament will wrap up in Dec. 2018. Brackets have not been revealed yet, but some of the possible match ups are looking pretty exciting.

“I think there are certain fights that people want to see,” Scott Coker told MMA Junkie. “Believe me, we’re going to have some amazing matchups in this tournament. These fights that we’re going to put together are something that the fans want to see. These are iconic names, big brands.”

This heavyweight grand prix is reminiscent of another heavyweight grand prix run by Coker under the Strikeforce banner in 2011 and 2012, just before the promotion was bought out and swallowed up by the UFC. Daniel Cormier won that tournament, and went on to become the UFC light heavyweight champ.

Bringing the format back could be a sign from Coker that Bellator is finally picking up where Strikeforce left off, which would be a welcome kick in the pants of an MMA scene currently dominated by a few too many generic UFC Fight Nights.